Make us your home page
Instagram

Career Q&A: Talk to HR about layoff scenario

Q: Everyone knows that our company is slowly going under. Several division heads have been ousted, and massive layoffs have occurred. But while most people are worried about losing their jobs, I would actually like to be laid off.

At my age, I could easily end this misery by taking early retirement. Yet despite the fact that many far more gifted colleagues have been dismissed, I never seem to wind up on the layoff list. Is there any way to discreetly volunteer for the next round of cuts?

A: If your skills and experience are critical to the continued operation of the business, management may be reluctant to let you go. But if not, an early retirement deal might be possible. To find out where you stand, have a confidential discussion with your human resources manager. When extensive downsizing is under way, HR usually knows who is considered expendable and who is not.

Manager, employees must have boundary

Q: Two weeks ago, my husband "Barry" unexpectedly came home from work with a large flat-screen television. He explained that one of his employees gave it to him as repayment for a loan. I was shocked, because I had no idea that Barry was lending people money.

Since we have absolutely no need for another television, I called Barry's office and asked the employee if he had any plans to pay the money back. He became defensive and said this matter was between him and my husband. When I related this to Barry, he angrily replied that it was none of my business.

After I expressed the opinion that loaning money to employees is inappropriate, my husband said that he considers this guy a friend. Now Barry isn't speaking to me because he felt my phone call was embarrassing. What do you think about this?

A: Two wrongs may not make a right, but sometimes they cancel each other out. If you and your hubby can acknowledge that you are both guilty of bad decisionmaking, perhaps you will be able to break this stalemate.

You are absolutely correct that managers should never, under any circumstances, lend money to employees. If tragic events inspire a group collection or company fund drive, the manager can certainly contribute. But a personal loan is always out of bounds because it changes the nature of the relationship.

Your husband's fundamental misconception lies in viewing his mooching staff member as a friend. While managers should always strive to have friendly relationships with employees, supervisory responsibilities create a power differential that makes true friendship impossible.

At the same time, however, your call to Barry's office also represents a boundary violation. Although you have every right to question your husband's behavior, you do not have the right to interrogate his employees. Your concerns about this transaction should have been expressed only to Barry.

To restore household harmony, begin by apologizing for your inappropriate phone call, then suggest a mutual agreement whereby you and Barry will consult each other about future financial decisions. That simple marital courtesy should help to prevent a repeat performance.

Career Q&A: Talk to HR about layoff scenario 07/24/14 [Last modified: Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:20pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Tribune News Service.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Busy start has Florida Hospital Center Ice dreaming big

    Tourism

    WESLEY CHAPEL — Opening day brought 600 doctors, administrators and their families from Florida Hospital. Soon after that, the facility hosted its first junior league game and a collegiate showdown. A few weeks later, 200 kids, ages 4 to 9, participated in national Learn to Play Hockey Day.

    Alex Senushkin and his grandson, Styopa Kulshyn, 3, of Lakeland, skate at the Florida Hospital Center Ice rink in Wesley Chapel.
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]

  2. Qatar Airways seeks to buy a stake in American Airlines

    Airlines

    NEW YORK — State-owned Qatar Airways is attempting to buy a 10 percent stake in American Airlines, triggering U.S. antitrust oversight of deals that size.

    In this file photo, a new Qatar Airways Airbus A350 approaches the gate at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany. Qatar Airways is attempting to buy a 10 percent stake in American Airlines, triggering U.S. antitrust oversight over deals of such size. 
[AP file photo]
  3. Who's best global airline? Qatar Airways takes No. 1 spot but Delta tops U.S. carriers

    Airlines

    The good news? Delta Airlines tops all U.S. airlines in a new Skytrax global airline passenger satisfaction survey of the world's best airlines. The bad news? At No. 32, Delta still ranks behind dozens of Middle East, Asian and some European airlines. For Tampa International Airport and the major airlines that operate …

    Southwest Airlines, the biggest carrier at Tampa International Airport, improved its customer satisfaction rating among global airlines in a recent survey.
[Times file photo]
  4. Vinoy resort will ask St. Petersburg voters to approve new parking garage (with tennis courts on top)

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club is undergoing a $50 million redevelopment and part of that plan calls for building a new one-story parking garage over eight existing tennis courts.

    The Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club is undergoing a $50 million redevelopment. The Vinoy wants to build a one-story parking garage as part of that project, in place of eight existing tennis courts. The tennis courts would be moved on top of the garage, which would hold 270 parking spots. But the Vinoy needs St. Petersburg voters to approve the project in a November referendum. This is an artists' rendering of the new garage from the street. [Courtesy of Vinoy Renaissance Resort and Golf Club]
  5. House committee passes Florida-sponsored flood insurance bill

    Banking

    The House Financial Services Committee pushed through a Florida-sponsored bill intended to cut flood insurance costs. If passed, the bipartisan bill would help create a marketplace for private flood insurance.

    A House committee passed a Florida-sponsored bill meant to lower flood insurance rates.
[Times file photo]